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A Sense of Belonging: From Castro's Cuba to the U.S. Senate, One Man's Pursuit of the American Dream Hardcover – August 5, 2008

4.1 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Textbook Amy Krouse Rosenthal
Textbook Amy Krouse Rosenthal
The bestselling author of "Encyclopedia an Ordinary Life" returns with a literary experience that is unprecedented, unforgettable, and explosively human. Hardcover | Kindle book
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Editorial Reviews

Review

“Mel Martinez is a living embodiment of the American Dream. From his early days under the iron-fisted rule of Fidel Castro to his arrival in the United States at age fifteen, and now as a member of the U.S. Senate, Mel has demonstrated grit, resolve, and a commitment to fighting for the fundamental rights of freedom and human dignity. This remarkable story not only gives a glimpse into the life of a great man, but also reaffirms the notion that in America, anything is possible.”
—John McCain

“An extraordinary and inspiring book, Mel Martinez’s account is at once a memoir, a historical document, and a tribute to both his native homeland and his adopted country. Of the fourteen thousand stories that the children of the Pedro Pan airlift could tell, this is definitely one of the most exemplary. Senator Martinez reveals here, as he does in his public life, how the hyphen in ‘Cuban-American’ is like gold refined in a blazing furnace. Years from now–even centuries from now –readers will surely marvel still at the history recorded in these pages.”
—Carlos Eire, National Book Award—winning author of Waiting for Snow in Havana

About the Author

MEL MARTINEZ is a U.S. senator from Florida and the former chairman of the Republican National Committee. He is the first Cuban-American to serve in the U.S. Senate. Prior to his election, he served as secretary of Housing and Urban Development. Martinez lives in Orlando with his wife, Kitty. They have three children.

ED BRESLIN is a writer living in New York City.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Crown Forum; 1 edition (August 5, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307405400
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307405401
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,613,215 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
"A Sense of Belonging" is not your typical autobiography of a Washington insider, which is certainly refreshing. Senator Martinez's story is quite unique, and it is eye-opening to see how he got to be where he is. This touching memoir chronicles both his transition from Communist Cuba to the United States and his transition from a boy to a man. Mr. Martinez was forced to grow up very quickly and the details of his experience are remarkable. I don't necessarily agree with him on everything politically, but that is irrelevant where this book is concerned. With the exception of his feelings toward Castro's regime, Martinez is able to tell his story without delving into today's politics.

This was a pleasure to read and I finished it in two sittings. Highly recommended for an easy weekend read.
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Format: Hardcover
As an American born in NY in the 40's of Cuban parents who took us early in the 50's to be raised in Cuba, I cannot even describe how true these feelings that Senator Martinez writes in his book identify with me. As Americans we were in danger of imprisonment (even as children) in 62 and were put on a plane without our parents who although were USA citizens, the Castro regime would not permit them to leave. Along with us were babies handed over to strangers to get them to the USA. The only difference with this book and my life is that we (my brother and I) as Americans could not receive any USA benefits since we were not considered refugees in our own country. We actually hid from being separated by the foster home agencies. The rest of this similar story we lived alongside many other Cubans. This is a must read for those who could use a boost as to loving this country of opportunity as they should. People have no idea how lucky we are in this country until you live in another country where you have no rights! From the time that Senator Martinez and all of us left Cuba to now, there has been no change. Thank you Senator Martinez for putting into words what many of us lived as we grew up (fast ) in the USA!
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Format: Hardcover
His is such an inspirational story of strength and faith in God! I couldn't put it down...well worth the read.
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Format: Hardcover
I had the privilege of meeting Mel Martinez two years ago. He was instrumental in getting my sister-in-law freed from prison in Vietnam.... although she was a U.S. citizen, and had done nothing more disruptive to the government of Vietnam than to openly speak about individual rights, she was arrested and languished in jail for fourteen months. Senator Martinez lead the effort to secure her freedom, lobbying the Vietnamese Ambassador, and convincing president Bush to make her release an issue to be resolved before the president would travel to Vietnam. When he spoke at her Homecoming in Orlando, he talked about how well he understood the difference between democratic and communist countries from personal experience. I was so impressed by this man's integrity and tenacity .... I can say with complete conviction: THERE is a true American! Read his book, and be reminded what it is that has made this a great country.
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